Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale
human biomonitoring for europe
a harmonized approach is feasible
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Project tasks

The countries applied the same European protocol, which describes in detail how to implement the study, and followed the same guidelines for the 5 main tasks which consisted in developing the national framework, protocol and materials; finding suitable volunteers and taking the samples; analysing the chosen biomarkers; performing statistical analysis and data interpretation; communicating properly throughout the study.

National teams and protocols

A number of key steps have to be taken before launching a wide-ranging survey. During the first months of the project, each participating country had to translate and adapt the COPHES study protocol to fit its own circumstances and to prepare for implementation.

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Recruitment and Sampling

Recruitment and sampling started in September 2011 with the publication of an EU press release and national press releases; the pilot study received press coverage in several countries.

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Sample Processing and QA

For the laboratories analysing the DEMOCOPHES samples, effective capacity-building along with a strict quality assurance and control process took more than one year before obtaining comparable HBM measurements.

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Data Analysis and Interpretation

A statistical working group considered a number of issues with respect to data analysis and interpretation. These were discussed at two training sessions: December 2011 in Brussels and March 2012 in Copenhagen.

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Communication was a key task throughout the project, from the recruitment phase until the publication of the results. National team coordinators were trained during 2 workshops: December 2011 in Brussels and March 2012 in Copenhagen.

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Policy recommendations

Feasibility and usefulness of human biomonitoring for policy making.

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Coordination and Management

Sharing the responsibilities.

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  Ir. Pierre Biot, FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment
  Ir. Dominique Aerts, FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment